Date Name

‘Digital Intelligence’ for Higher Education

A recent post discussed the possible benefits of learner analytics for delivering a more personalised education. Now we have a broader view as The Chronicle of Higher Education provides an update on Educause, the huge US Education Tech Trade Show in which it is observed that everyone is talking about digital intelligence or education analytics.

‘Radical change’ is needed to reassure public on standards says THE

Follow up to earlier post on this topic. According to Times Higher Education: “‘Radical change’ is needed to reassure public on standards”. External examiners would be interviewed by inspection teams and universities would give a clear indication of the number of hours they expect students to study under plans to boost public confidence in the… read more

‘Wal-Mart U’ v ‘Harrods U’

Two new entrants into HE From the Chronicle of Higher Education an interesting story explaining that there might have been a Wal-Mart University: As the world’s largest retailer weighed its options for making a big splash in education, executives told one potential academic partner that Wal-Mart Stores was considering buying a university or starting its… read more

‘University of Nike’ in Oregon

A huge investment in university sport The New York Times has a report on the opening of a hugely expensive new facility to enhance the University of Oregon’s football programme. It comes courtesy of a sizeable donation from one of the founders of Nike. The Football Performance Center, which was unveiled publicly this week, is… read more

“Bogus students facing global crackdown”

Tackling “bogus” students According to the BBC, bogus students are facing a global crackdown. “Unscrupulous” recruitment agents who bring bogus overseas students into the UK are being targeted in an international initiative. The British Council has for the first time brought together countries including the UK, the US and Australia to try to keep out… read more

“Doubling foreign enrolments is ‘unbelievable’ aim”

So, are international student numbers set to double? According to Times Higher Education: English universities are relying on “unbelievable” plans to increase international student numbers by up to 100 per cent in four years as government policy leads to fears of volatility in home student numbers. Durham University plans for a 97 per cent increase… read more

“Drop the ‘mickey mouse’ degrees”

“Drop the ‘mickey mouse’ degrees” says head of Royal Society of Chemistry It’s silly season again. According to a blog post from Richard Pike of the RSC: ‘Mickey Mouse’ degree courses should be swept away, and priorities in university education and research should reflect the challenges facing the country over the forthcoming decades. No longer… read more

“Dysfunctional” universities

Extract from an article in the Chronicle India’s Prime Minister Assails Universities as Below Average and ‘Dysfunctional’ India’s prime minister revealed on Friday that almost two-thirds of the nation’s universities and 90 percent of its degree-granting colleges are rated as below average and that university curricula are typically not synchronized with the needs of employers… read more

“For-Profits Eye the British Market”

New opportunities for private providers The Chronicle of Higher Education has a good piece on the interest for-profit providers are taking in the UK market. Robert Lytle of the Parthenon Group, management consultants with an interest in education, seems a bit sceptical: “It’s a very expensive market to operate in, and the profitability is not… read more

“From hack to boffin”

Hack to boffin in six months? University seeks journalist Let us ignore the shorthand of “hack” and “boffin” here – it is a really good story… A university is hoping to turn a journalist from a hack into boffin in six months, opening its doors to give them an in-depth look at the world of… read more

“Green” University league table

The People and Planet “Green League” Another fun league table here but really makes all of the others look like models of objectivity and statistical rigour. From THE 1 Gloucestershire (last year 5th) 2 Plymouth (2) 3 UWE (8th) 4 Anglia Ruskin (8th) 5 Loughborough (38th) 5 Cambridge (8th) 5 Central Lancashire (50) 8 Leeds… read more

“Old-fashioned universities letting students down”

Moaners not Maoists According to the Guardian, David Willetts has said that old-fashioned universities are letting students down: Universities are badly failing students with unfit teaching and old-fashioned methods and will have to radically modernise lectures and facilities if they want to raise fees, according to the Conservatives’ spokesman on higher education. David Willetts told… read more

“Plagiarism up 700%” at University of Nottingham

Slight misinterpretation of non-comparable data According to a shocking report in Impact, which doesn’t let facts get in the way of a sensational story, plagiarism is up 700% at the University of Nottingham: The University of Nottingham has insisted that cheating is not skyrocketing among its students, following the emergence of figures which show a… read more

“Pressure grows” to replace league tables

“League tables should be replaced, says v-c” according to a recent article in THE. As an alternative to league tables it is proposed that comprehensive “quality profiles” be used instead of crude rankings. Chris Brink, vice-chancellor of Newcastle University, said assessments should ask if the university is “good at what it does”, rather than if… read more

“Title arousal” issues in German Education

Another German Minister with Doctoral Difficulties BBC News recently reported on German minister Annette Schavan having her doctorate withdrawn following accusations of plagiarism. This comes barely two years after another minister was found to have plagiarised parts of his dissertation. It’s a rather unhappy picture: A German university has voted to strip Education Minister Annette… read more

“Top employers cut graduate jobs”

According to BBC Education, at least But the survey quoted here reports a reduction in the number of vacancies compared to 2008 and a reduction against target: There is further evidence of a tough graduate jobs market with a survey showing vacancies down 13.5% on 2008. Research among the top 100 employers identified by graduates shows… read more

“Top scholars should lead research universities”

Top scholars should lead research universities: Review of fascinating new work in University World News. Research universities should be led by brilliant scholars and not merely talented managers, says Warwick University fellow Amanda Goodall. It is not sufficient for leaders to have management skills alone, Goodall states in a new book. In Socrates in the… read more

“Topsy-turvy ranking” in social science teaching

Research which challenges some league table views of teaching quality Times Higher Education has a piece on a detailed study of teaching of Sociology at a range of instututions which has some interesting results: Teaching in universities that are usually ranked towards the bottom of higher education league tables is more consistently of a high… read more

“Universities are crumbling”…

…according to a “secret database” The Guardian claims a bit of a scoop following a Freedom of Information request on building conditions in universities: Scores of university halls of residences and lecture theatres in the UK were judged “at serious risk of major failure or breakdown” and “unfit for purpose”, a secret database obtained after… read more

$577k for a University party?

That’s how much Purdue University is said to have spent on a bit of a do for some of its donors (ie around £290k). According to the Chronicle, the bash was to celebrate the end of a seven year campaign which raised $1.7B (around £850m). So is it reasonable to splurge under half of a… read more

£5m for Students’ Green Fund

Big funding for student-led green initiatives HEFCE recently announced the launch of the ‘Students’ Green Fund’ which is intended to help students work with their institutions on sustainable development: NUS will run a single-round bidding competition in summer 2013, to allocate the funding. The funded projects will then receive the funding over two full academic… read more

20 over 500

Youth isn’t everything Last year it was Times Higher Education but this year it is the turn of QS to produce a ranking of newer universities, presumably on the basis that somehow they suffer in the rankings for not having done enough stuff over their limited histories. Unfortunately, this rather discriminates against older institutions which… read more

2007 World Rankings: UK improvements

The detail of the QS-Thes table is due to be available on-line from 9 November according to THES. While we wait, the QS site will let you download the table. And the BBC carries the story too. 19 UK universities appear in the top 100: 2= Cambridge 3= Oxford 5 Imperial College 9 University College… read more

2008 Sunday Times UK University Rankings

Sunday Times League Table published The final UK league table of the season is now out, courtesy of the Sunday Times. Not too many surprises here: 1. Cambridge 2. Oxford 3. Imperial 4. LSE 5. St Andrews 6. UCL 7. Warwick 8. Durham 9. York 10. Bath 11. Loughborough 12. Southampton 13. Nottingham 14. Exeter… read more

2009 Guardian University League Table

It’s that time of year again, when everyone is producing their league tables. So, now the Guardian one is out. And there are some pretty extraordinary results in here with, for example, Bournemouth and Nottingham Trent both appearing above Liverpool and Newcastle. The top 20 features less than half of the Russell Group. Not entirely… read more

2010 Independent League Table

Latest Independent league table First of the new season’s UK tables has just been published by the Independent. Full details of the institutional and subject rankings are provided by the Complete University Guide which can be found here. There isn’t much change at the top but the most striking thing is the inclusion for the… read more

2010 Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings: Top 20

2010 Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings: Top 20 The rankings have been published and are available at the ARWU site but there still seem to be a few problems with access at time of writing. In any case, no surprises and very little movement in the top 20 with Harvard retaining the number 1 spot… read more